Inspected my "green" hive (paint color). This hive came from a nuc last year, locally raised queen, came through the winter and is laying good.
Back in May I pulled off 2 Nucs (5 frames each) due to the presence of swarm cells. Both nucs "took" and I now have laying queens in each (I am pleased at this). So the green hive didn't really have a lot of bees like it used to. But I count about 20 comings and goings per second in the evenings, so they are busy.
It's always been a gentle hive and was that way today. During the inspection I saw one frame with 10 swarm cells (a couple capped, the others not) and the adjacent frame had 13 (with a couple capped). I was quite shocked!
This hive does have a medium super with 2 drawn frames and 8 frames of foundation on it, but the bees aren't really doing anything with it. The have some nectar in the drawn frames but it isn't full and not ready for capping. The foundation frames aren't well drawn out yet, and the super's been on for a couple of months.
I also saw plenty of brood, and even eggs, in the brood chamber. There were 3 or 4 frames in each of the 2 chambers with plenty of space for the queen to lay. The only thing I can figure is that there were a couple of nectar- and honey-filled frames (maybe 1/3 capped) in the top brood box which may have "convinced" the hive they were running out of room. I repositioned them to the outer edge and freed up some laying space, so we'll see what will happen. Since I have no way to make more nucs, I removed the swarm cells. I'll see if they think they still need to swarm and decide what to do later.
I wrote more details in my blog
and I have some pictures too.
I'm looking for comments on this, and maybe why the bees aren't bringing in more honey. Others in my general area (1 hr drive away) are adding a 3rd super by now.